Did I Hear Senator Obama Say Something About Earmarks?

I’m sure I did just this morning hear Mr. Obama talking about earmarks and I believe he was criticizing Governor Palin on this subject.  Senator Obama said:

“I know the governor of Alaska has been saying she’s change, and that’s great,” Obama said. “She’s a skillful politician. But, you know, when you’ve been taking all these earmarks when it’s convenient, and then suddenly you’re the champion anti-earmark person, that’s not change. Come on! I mean, words mean something, you can’t just make stuff up.”

Now, I thought change was the mantra of the Obama campaign.  Things seem to have changed, all right, and the change is that it looks like Sister Sarah has become the change candidate.  🙂

If Senator Obama wanted to call someone on the issue of earmarks, I thought it was odd that he would bring up Governor Palin rather than John McCain, a fellow Senator, and the one who is actually his opponent.  Obama has a way of playing with your mind and if you’re not careful, he’ll lead you to a wrong conclusion.  Of course, he didn’t mention the millions of dollars (just under $1 billion) in earmarks that HE as a United States Senator has passed out in the two years since he was elected.

After looking into this subject just a little bit, it is abundantly clear why Senator Obama can’t criticize McCain on the subject of earmarks, as you will see.

But just what are earmarks and what do they have to do with anything?  Well, it seems…..

Earmarks are grants of your tax dollars without the normal public review, often given to pet projects by members of Congress in near secrecy.  They add up to billions of dollars, and critics say they are ripe for fraud and abuse by some.

Senator John McCain, who has long criticized the spending practice, “was one of five senators to reject earmarks entirely.”

On the other hand…..

Q  What earmarks did Senator Obama request for the Fiscal Years 2006 and 2007?

A.  A lot. Click link below for a detailed list:

http://answercenter.barackobama.com/cgi … JnBfY2F0cz

**Hmmm, he took the list off — but — here’s another link where you can see all the earmarks he requested.  Be sure and scroll down a little bit to be sure and see them all:


Sarah Palin was not in the congress, of course.  As Governor of Alaska, Palin reduced her state government’s requests from congress from 63 earmarks to 31.  I don’t know if congress actually funded these projects or not.

Here’s what Palin said in a February interview (obviously before she was a candidate):

“My position has been in trying to read that writing on the wall, and understanding there’s going to be reform,” she said. “We can either put our heads in the sand and ignore the reforms that are coming or we can be proactive and get Alaska in the position of being more productive, contributing more and becoming less reliant on the federal government.”

And here’s how the McCain campaign sees it: Palin “doesn’t mind bucking the establishment to get things done,” said her campaign spokeswoman, Maria Comella. “As vice president, she is committed to working with John McCain to end this wasteful, earmark system that she has seen corrupt leaders in Alaska.”


So to recap:

  • Senator John McCain requested zero earmarks.
  • Senator Barack Obama requested a long list of earmarks.
  • Sarah Palin requested for her state 31 earmarks from Congress as Governor of Alaska, and is trying to move her state towards less federal money and more self-reliance.


Posted:  09.07.08


Filed under Barack Obama, John McCain, politics, Uncategorized

10 responses to “Did I Hear Senator Obama Say Something About Earmarks?

  1. As governor, taking care of her stat is her job! Congress and senators have the authority to request and give earmarks.

    I don’t find fault in a governor trying to secure such funds from the federal government for use by their state.


  2. bellalu0

    I agree pobept. She requested federal grant money for her town or state.

    There are people who make a living going around teaching people how to apply for this money for their city, county, state, or cause.

    The true comparison is between McCain and Obama. They are both in the Senate. Just look at the money Obama has passed out in the two short years he has been in the Senate. Busy little boy he was.

    And McCain gave out none.


  3. diogenes

    Kinda makes you wonder why McBush kept getting re-eected by Arizonans… he’s not really doing right by them, in his role as a Senator.

    See, that’s the problem with simplistic thinking. Some amount of earmarks are a good thing for your state; you’re there to represent your constituents. Too much, of course, is abusive.


  4. Dale

    Why the concern over Palin? Palin is not running for president. If we are going to judge the presidency by Palin, perhaps we should take a look at Biden. He is the worst earmark abuser of all the senators. Comon’ Obama, You can put lipstick on cockroach, but it’s still a cockroach.


  5. channelXRFR

    Earmarks per se are OK. Problem comes in when the earmarks are introduced outside of the budget process. Of particular concern is the practice of inserting earmarks into unrelated legislation.


  6. amiekatrina

    It is completely fair for Obama to criticize Palin’s record. She is running for Vice President, meaning if something happens to John McCain, she becomes President. Therefore, her record is up for scrutiny. Just as much Joe Biden or Dick Cheney was up for scrutiny. She doesn’t get a free pass because she is on the bottom of the ticket.

    I think the point you’re missing here is that Sarah Palin is not a reformer. That so-called “bridge to nowhere?” Not only did she originally support it, but even though she didn’t build, it she took the money.

    AND. She asks for MORE earmarks PER PERSON then any other state. (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2008154532_webpalin02m.html) Obama may have asked for more money, but there are far more people in Illinois then Alaska.

    So, as I said before. I think you are missing the point. Earmarks are okay, but Palin is the worst offender of excessive spending. But yet, McCain (who is running for president) picked her to be on his ticket anyway, despite his own record. And that sends a message that he will do anything to get elected.

    Tell me, what’s his campaign slogan again? Because he seems to be acting in a “me first” manner.


  7. diogenes

    He just recently changed his campaign slogan, Amiekatrina. Now it’s:

    McBush/Palin 2008; We’d Rather Lose Our Honor And Integrity Than Lose An Election.


  8. CraigLightcap

    you liberals just don’t get it. does it make you feel better about yourself to vote for a black man? does it make you feel better about yourself to pretend you are looking out for the little guy?

    obama is playing to the ill-informed public. rather than listening to the hate spewers that are still bitter about president bush, look close at legislation. do your own research. i think you will find that leaders on both sides are pretty corrupt and none of them are truly looking out for you. if you really believe obama is looking out for you and not just on a power trip, then you are gravely mistaken.


  9. Pingback: Obama promised No Earmarks (video) $4 billion included in spending bill « Can I Just Finish My Waffle?

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